Marija Ančić's first solo exhibition in Split is presented within the series of exhibitions of young artists organised by the Museum of Fine Arts. With the exhibition titled All by Myself the artist shows the selection of works created over the period the last two years. Marija regularly publishes specific animations in gif format on her blog, but on this occasion they are presented in the gallery format for the first time.

Due to the specific global situation and problems that have arisen from the self-isolation, topics like fear, anxiety and insecurity have become a large part of the public discourse like never before. For the first time these, usually stigmatised emotions are recognized and accepted as normal segments of everyday life. In such context works by Marija Ančič become highly relatable, but truly that is the result of un/happy coincidence. For years now, from a very personal point of view Marija has been working on negative emotions, problems of self-perception, questions of identity. Although she is dealing with very serious and potentially painful topics, she uses very clever humour to avoid the heaviness or any trace of pity. This is partially due to the unusual form of her works – gif animations. Endless repetition, characteristic of gifs, brings out the absurdity of the presented scene, so that the hand that tries to close the lid of a coffin or an armchair that fails to “devour” the protagonist accentuate precisely the humour as an answer to the absurd. In a manner of Groundhog Day, the hardest situations become relative.

GIF animation is still in the initial phase of recognition as an artistic medium. This is primarily due to its dominant presence in the virtual domain and its perception as an entertaining or commercial form that can hardly be avoided on the Internet. However, during the last decade a whole generation of young artists has recognized the directness, dynamism and wide range of creative potential of this digital art form. Most of the GIFs in the context of popular culture, as well as in art, are created by manipulation of photography or by digital animation. Works by Marija Ančić stand out because of her source material – she uses the methods of traditional animation. Her pencil drawings are created in series, with slight shifts and then transformed into movement through GIFs. Her animation process remains highly transparent because she refuses to polish or hide the imperfections of a manual drawing. In such combination of traditional and contemporary media, the works by Marija Ančić show through their simplicity and unpretentiousness the unique quality within the young artists’ production in Croatia.

Marija Ančić was born in Sarajevo in 1982. She graduated from the Arts Academy in Split with degree in Art restoration (2005) and a Master’s degree in Sculpture (2010). Her group exhibitions include 54th and 51st Zagreb Salon of Visual Arts, 34th Youth Salon, 13th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture, “Osebno/Personal” at Kibla Maribor, and solo exhibitions in galleries VN and Karas in Zagreb, and Gallery Galženica in Velika Gorica. She is a finalist of Radoslav Putar Award 2016. and White Aphroid Award 2018. Currently lives in Zagreb.

The exhibition is financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Split.